Tested till perfect Cabbage Rolls
Photography by Matthew Kimura

Cabbage Rolls

Combine beef and pork in these classic rolls or use all beef if you prefer. Save leftover green cabbage for braising or stir-frying.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: May 2008

Recipe4 out of 5 based on 132 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Portion size 8


  • 2 heads 2headssavoy cabbagesavoy cabbages or green cabbage, (each 2lb/1 kg)
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspbutter
  • 2 2large white onionwhite onions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspcaraway seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspsalt
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tsppepper
  • 3 tbsp 3tbsppacked brown sugar
  • 2 cans (each 28 oz/796 mL) 2cans (each 28 oz/796 mL)crushed tomatoes


  • 2 tbsp 2tbspbutter
  • 3 3oniononions, chopped
  • 4 4cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspdried thyme
  • 1 pinch 1pinchcayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cuplong-grain rice
  • 1-1/4 cups 1-1/4cupssodium-reduced chicken stock
  • 1-1/2 lb 1-1/2lblean ground pork or lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupchopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspchopped fresh dill, ( or 1 tsp/5 mL dried dillweed)
  • 1 1eggeggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 tsp 3/4tspsalt
  • 3/4 tsp 3/4tsppepper
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Core cabbages. In large pot of boiling salted water, blanch cabbages, 1 at a time, for 5 to 8 minutes or until leaves are softened. Remove and chill under cold water.

Working from core end, carefully pull 12 leaves off each cabbage, returning cabbage to boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes when leaves become difficult to remove. Drain leaves on tea towels; cut out coarse veins. Set leaves aside. Reserve enough leaves from remaining cabbage to cover cabbage rolls in pan.

In large shallow Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat; saut?nions, caraway seeds, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes or until onions are golden.

Add sugar; cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.

Filling: In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook onions, garlic, thyme and cayenne pepper, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until softened.

Add rice; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Transfer to large bowl; let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in pork, parsley, dill, egg, salt and pepper.

Spread 1 cup (250 mL) of the tomato mixture in 24-cup (6 L) roasting pan or Dutch oven.

Spoon scant 1/4 cup (50 mL) filling onto centre of each of the 24 reserved leaves; fold 1 end and sides over filling and roll up. Arrange half, seam side down, in pan; top with half of the remaining tomato mixture. Arrange remaining rolls on top; pour remaining tomato mixture over top. Top with reserved cabbage leaves to prevent scorching.

Cover and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 2 hours or until tender.

Additional information : Make-Ahead
Refrigerator: Bake rolls and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat, covered, in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 1 hour.

Freezer: Bake rolls and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and overwrap with foil; freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in refrigerator for 48 hours. Reheat, covered, in 350°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour.

Nutritional Information Per serving: about

cal 411 pro 22g total fat 22g sat. fat 9g
carb 33g fibre 5g chol 93mg sodium 860mg

% RDI:

calcium 10 iron 22 vit A 21 vit C 65
folate 21
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